Fireworks in North Cowichan will now be restricted to three times a year, with requests for other dates to be approved by the municipality’s CAO or his designate.
There were no restrictions with respect to dates fireworks permits may be issued in North Cowichan, but council decided at its meeting on Dec. 20 to limit fireworks permits to Jan. 1, July 1, and Oct. 31 and allow requests to be made for other dates.
North Cowichan’s fireworks bylaw prohibits the sale of fireworks in the municipality and prohibits possession and discharge of fireworks in North Cowichan without written permission from the municipal clerk.
In a report to council, Alyssa Meiner, deputy director of corporate services, said North Cowichan receives fireworks-related complaints and questions from the public about the fireworks permit process every year.
“Fireworks complaints in North Cowichan are likely the result of fireworks being discharged without a valid permit,” she said.
“Generally speaking, those that apply for and are issued a permit are responsibly conducting a safe fireworks display for their families, friends, or neighbours. In terms of enforcement, there is currently the ability for $200 tickets to be issued by RCMP and bylaw officers for unlawful possessing or discharging fireworks.”
Meiner said the Cowichan Valley Regional District restricts fireworks permits to Jan. 1, July 1, and Oct. 31 and special request dates must be approved by the CVRD board.
There is also a requirement in the regional district that fireworks not be discharged within 500 metres of property where livestock is raised or grazed.
“Limiting permitted fireworks displays to Jan. 1, July 1, and Oct. 31 [in North Cowichan] would provide consistency with neighbouring local governments,” Meiner said.